Scalp Psoriasis

What Is Scalp Psoriasis?Picture of woman with her fingers in her long hair

Of the many forms that psoriasis takes, scalp psoriasis is one of the more common. This form of the autoimmune disease affects the scalp, including the forehead, ears, and upper neck in some cases. The affected area can cover the top of the head or be small independent regions of irritated, flaky red skin with raised edges. Also, the skin may appear as silver and scaly. Scalp psoriasis is often mistaken for scalp dermatitis, and mild scalp psoriasis may even be dismissed as dandruff. Read on to learn more about scalp psoriasis, its causes, and how to effectively treat it.

Where To Start?

Your experience with scalp psoriasis is undoubtedly difficult, and you are not alone. In fact, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than eight million people have some form of psoriasis. Fortunately, the symptoms of scalp psoriasis can be successfully managed by balancing healthy skincare routines, medicated treatments like the ones we offer here at Summers Labs, and alternative treatment methods.

Regular, healthy skin care is foundational in better managing the symptoms of any skin condition. Combining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and consistent skincare will help naturally prevent psoriasis flare-ups. When flare-ups strike, medicated scalp psoriasis ointments, gels, and shampoos can be used to help relieve the symptoms and get you back on track.

Scalp Psoriasis Causes

The medical community has not yet clearly defined what causes psoriasis, or any of its related conditions.  The exact cause of this autoimmune disease is not fully understood. Many doctors believe that scalp psoriasis may be caused by any of the following:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Stress
  • Lifestyle factors like exercise and diet
  • The body overproducing certain white blood cells

Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms

Like most other forms of psoriasis, scalp psoriasis symptoms range from mild to severe. Symptoms can be lessened by taking the necessary skincare measures. To determine whether scalp psoriasis is the cause of your aching or itchy scalp, look for the following symptoms:

  • Red, irritated patches of skin
  • Flakiness or silver scales of skin
  • Raised or bumpy edges throughout the affected area
  • General dryness of the affected area, with or without cracked skin
  • Itchiness or burning sensations
  • Hair loss

These symptoms can be worsened by itching, scratching, or rubbing the affected area. Scalp psoriasis symptoms are fairly similar to the symptoms of plaque psoriasis, but are limited to the scalp region. Therefore, scalp psoriasis is often confused with general dandruff (caused by dryness of the scalp), and seborrheic dermatitis. What’s the difference?

The Difference Between Scalp Psoriasis & Seborrheic Dermatitis

These two skin conditions are often mistaken for one another since their symptoms are so similar. Both skin conditions exhibit symptoms of red, itchy areas of scaly skin. However, they have different causes and require slightly different treatments. Like scalp psoriasis, the medical community is unsure of what causes seborrheic dermatitis. Also like psoriasis, some believe that it is an autoimmune disease, while others believe it may be the result of a fungal infection.

As a result, both skin conditions are generally treated with topical ointments and shampoos, but your dermatologist may also suggest using antifungal medication to relieve seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. To determine if you are battling seborrheic dermatitis, look for greasy affected areas of skin with white or yellow scales of skin. Scalp psoriasis symptoms are generally not greasy, and will often result in silver or red flaking.

Scalp Psoriasis Treatment

At Summers Laboratories, we truly believe that the most effective treatment comes from a combination of medicated and alternative treatment methods. Medicated psoriasis ointments and shampoos are crucial for relieving the symptoms of a flare-up quickly, but adjusting aspects of your lifestyle may be the most effective way to prevent flare-ups. Many of our friends, family, and customers have seen wonderful results in reducing flare-ups by adopting a healthier diet, active lifestyle, following an appropriate skin care regimen, and reducing stress. However, when a flare-up does sneak its way into your life, try one of the proven-effective scalp psoriasis treatments shown below to relieve the symptoms quickly and get you back on track.

More About Types of Psoriasis

Psoriasis presents itself in a variety of forms, and each type exhibits unique symptoms.

Learn more about other types of psoriasis here.